You’ve probably seen them before…
Those digital entrepreneurs working online, wherever and whenever they want, making incredible incomes for themselves and their families by selling online courses. From beauty tutorials to in-depth corporate training, there seems to be no industry where an online Knowledge Commerce business can’t be created.
Wherever someone wants (or needs) to enhance their skills, learn new tools, or just indulge more deeply in whatever they’re passion might be, there are creative people selling information directly to them.
And the kicker? Those people are no different than you. Trust us...we know a lot of them!
But getting across the finish line, with an online course that’s making sales every single day doesn’t just magically happen as some might have you believe.
While the internet has created countless opportunities to create your dream business, it’s also brought with it a swarm of endless options, ideas, and information to choose from.
What at first appeared simple can quickly become overwhelming.
From Overwhelm To Simple, Specific Actions
And while many companies are ok with people paying for their software or service and not doing anything with it, here at Kajabi...we’re just not. We pride ourselves on “pulling back the curtain” and giving you all the information you need in order to create a successful online business.
Do we hope you build that business on our all-in-one Knowledge Commerce platform?
But even if you don’t, we’ll still be here for you if that time ever comes. That’s what #KajabiFamily is all about.
Where To Start
Many digital entrepreneurs get stuck not knowing which idea is “right” or which one will work.
And some even conceptualize their online courses before conducting any kind of research to see what types of learning opportunities their target market is interested in. Marketing a product people don’t want is one of the most common reasons for failure in this business.
In the long run, this results in time wasted and less-than-ideal results.
So how can you avoid this little hiccup and ensure that your class goes off without a hitch?
Here’s a list of 6 proven ways to brainstorm potential successful online course ideas!
So, let’s get to it.
6 Ways To Brainstorm Your Next Online Course
Wear The Shoes of Your Prospect
Like we mentioned, one of the biggest mistakes online creators make when first starting out is developing online courses that they themselves would like. Now, this isn’t completely off target, but remember: your problems aren’t always their problems.
And you want to create a course which addresses not only their problem but one important enough that they’d pay for the solution.
So, before you get into recording videos and paying for the next piece of software, take a few minutes to identify what topics or skills are most important to your target audience. What “high priority problems” are they experiencing that they’d most likely be willing to pay for?
By simply brainstorming the following questions you’ll come away with a much clearer idea of a possible winning course idea:
- What does this person want more than anything else in relation to your specific industry?
- What are the biggest and most common sticking points that stop them from getting there?
Create those two lists and somewhere in the middle could be the seed of something your market would be anxious to pay for.
Zoom Into One Thing
Many digital entrepreneurs get stuck by thinking too big. They think their course has to have 17 modules and cover everything they’ve ever learned on a specific topic.
But this just isn’t true. Especially when you’re just starting out.
This is why we recommend our Mini-Course Template inside Kajabi so often. Instead of teaching everything you know, think about teaching everything you know about a very specific problem.
Here’s some examples:
- “The Ultimate Guide To Email Marketing”
- Becomes “How To Build Your First Email Autoresponder”
- “The Online Keto University Course”
- Becomes “7 Easy To Make Keto Recipes”
Remember, one of the biggest ways you can add value as an online course creator is by simplifying the process for your students. There’s no shortage of information out there, right?
But there is a shortage of compact, clear, and easy to understand in-depth training in your specific market. So zoom into specific problems and make it easier on yourself and your future customers.
Think Holes Not Screwdrivers
As you’re brainstorming ideas for your online course or thinking through whether it could be successful or not, remember that people buy holes not screwdrivers.
All that means is that your customers want the benefit which your course and content can provide them. Unless someone’s in the business of collecting screwdrivers, they’re only motivated to buy one because of the benefit it can ultimately provide them.
When you begin marketing and selling in this way (benefit focused), you’ll find product creation to be much much easier. You’ll begin to see that you’re not actually in the business of selling online courses.
You’re in the business of solving problems, creating new futures, and helping people get what they want. Thinking from the end in mind will help you generate course ideas that are more likely to succeed and also give you a better idea of why some informational products sell well, while others flop.
One is selling information. The other is selling what that information can do for the customer.
Sell What’s Selling
On that note, one quick and easy way to generate legitimate ideas for your online course is to simply look at what’s already selling.
Now we’d never advise anyone to copy, “knock off”, or steal anyone else's information in any way shape or form. But as you’ve probably heard “success leaves clues” and there’s nothing wrong with looking at your market and using what’s selling as a predictor of what might work for you to.
You can look at digital products at sites like ClickBank or even by looking at the “gurus” within your market and see what they’re selling.
Again, don’t copy. But just like there are multiple places in town that you can buy a hamburger at, there can be multiple online courses which teach the same audience. You both might be addressing a similar problem, but you’ll be bringing a unique angle and personality to your course causing it to be completely different.
Ask Your Customer
This one seems simple but you’d be surprised how many people skip right past it.
Do you already have a business or a list of people who you can communicate with? If you do, simply send them an email using two different strategies:
- You could ask them to tell you the #1 biggest problem their facing in relation to your industry and create a course from their responses.
- You could include some sort of simple survey with 2-3 of your course ideas and have your audience vote for the one they’d most like to see created.
Both of these follow the same premise: asking your market what they want instead of going with what you think they want.
Put It Out There
This last one is for those of you who are stuck. Maybe you’ve done one of the ideas above and are still unsure about your idea and how people will respond.
Well as you surely know, part of the excitement of being a digital entrepreneur is getting comfortable being uncomfortable. Especially when it’s something you’ve never done before like creating and selling an online course.
So if this is you and you already have the idea or outline fleshed out, we want you to take everything you’ve got...write up the big problem it solves and how it could change the customer's life…
Then we want you to take all of that and post it on your Facebook!
You can even let people know how intimidated and uncomfortable you are doing that for the first time, but you’re so committed to helping people you’re willing to be uncomfortable.
Then see what happens! That alone will do more for you than simply continue to just think about your idea over and over. Any imperfect action is always 100x more powerful than any perfect inaction. Even just that simple post could create opportunities you never knew were there!
And if you really want to go for it...you could even pre-sell the course before ever even creating it!
Use Kajabi to Turn Your Knowledge And Content Into Products You Can Sell
Create online courses, establish membership sites, coaching programs, podcasts, and sell other digital products. We offer tons of marketing tools to help you spread the word about your products and earn more revenue.
To help ease you into the process of creating a Knowledge Commerce business of your own, we offer a 14-day free trial. Check out Kajabi today!
Find more blog posts by category: